Dynamite Entertainment 2015
Written by Keith Davidsen
Illustrated by Randy Valiente
Coloured by Jorge Sutil
Once an ambitious student at Miskatonic University, HERBERT WEST harbored radical theories on returning life to the recently dead. At first, the young man was fanatical in pursuing a scientific means to that end... but the NECRONOM ICON, a book of forbidden lore, seduced him to a more unorthodox approach. For a time, West reveled in its arcane teachings; he created legions of walking corpses, challenged power-mad rivals, and even averted an ancient doomsday prophecy. However, West fell victim to the tome’s sinister influence. Thrown through time to the early 20th century, torn to pieces and reconstructed by sorcery, he returned to the present day more determined than ever to perfect his reanimation solution and conquer mortality.
Well I wasn’t sure what to expect from this but I have to tell you that Keith does more than an excellent job here introducing us to Herbert and his current situation. Not only that but we meet his new assistant, learn her story and then get introduced to another wrapped up in all this. Herbert West is an iconic figure in horror and not just because he likes to bring the dead back to life, hence Reanimator, but also because he’s wrapped up with Neonomicon and Cthulu as well. So how Keith manages to put all this together in the first issue is brilliantly done.
Right off the bat we meet Susie who found herself being bored and unable to be fulfilled even though she once did groundbreaking important work. So in order to feel something she started stealing from work and selling it to guys who work the Black Market. You have to read this to really understand her state of mind and how she feels. So when she’s doing her last deal the guys decide they are going to rough her up and take the stuff only no one counted on two things, one that she’d fight back and rather effectively at that and two that Herbert would show up and intervene.
Susie’s reaction to Herbert and his shall we say associate the Valusian shows just what kind of remarkable woman she is. I found fortuitous that they would be on the docks this time of night, probably trolling for people to kill and use in his experiments, when they come across Susie. Seeing is believing they say and well she sees a lot including with rapt scientific curiosity what happens when Herbert uses his serum on one the guys.
The writing here is really impressive it certainly contains a lot more than I was expecting and the characterization is flawless and the interior art while not overly detailed or horror in nature is very cute. Dynamite has a way of putting out properties that revitalize them and keep them fresh and interesting.
Now if I could just get a copy of that Blank Variant cover I’d be one heck of a happy camper!